I visited an old friend of mine the other day. Their home is perfect, beautiful cars, two kids the perfect age apart; everything as it would appear is perfect. At work his career is going well. He is on track to become an executive at his company, which he has been at the perfect length of time, yet after spending a weekend with them it's clear the family is a not a happy family. There seems to be a sense of disconnect, between them, the fighting, the negative behavior of the children, etc this is obviously a void that can't be filled by all the material objects and work successes they've amassed.
I had to ask myself why is that? How do you avoid letting your life get to a point where you have everything you need, or want but yet still fill unfulfilled?. Here are couple of tips I've discovered from a combination of books, magazine and online resources.
Create a Plan for yourself
Create a realistic plan for goals that you feel will make you happy. Sometimes it's not about completing the goal, but the effort and hard work you put to get there. Hence, the harder you work the better you will feel about yourself because you will feel better about going after something you value. If its not valuable to you, It will not be worth it to work or make the sacrifice to achieve the goal.
Surround yourself with Positive People
This is often the hardest part of being happy, acknowledging the people you hang around with may not best for you, choose to surround yourself with happy and positive people, and relationships who accentuates the goals you want to accomplish for yourself. If you are around people who are happy with their emotional state, that feeling will be infectious.
Failure is inevitable
When something goes awry, or you fail at something don't wallow in self pity. People who are happy accept their failures as a learning experience and move on. You can have a million failures; all you need is one great success moments. Mathematically speaking it statistically impossible to have all failures, you will eventually hit upon success, wallowing in self pity just make the failure last longer.
Appreciate what/who you have
Don't disregard the great things you currently have in life. Take a few seconds each day to think about the wonderful things, people, children, pets that are part of your life. These few seconds will give you the opportunity to focus on the positive things in your life and will often change your outlook on bad days.
I once heard Oprah say, that "you must pay yourself first no matter what", with that being said you have to take time each day and pay yourself, it maybe a compliment, a great lunch, or some extra alone time, these are all ways to subconsciously put yourself in a better mood.
Your healthcare has a lot do with your happiness. Maintaining your health is one of the greatest ways to achieve happiness. Being overweight or not eating nutritious foods can have a negative effect on your mood. Additionally, exercise, such as yoga, walking running and a myriad of activities have all been proven to release endorphins that give you a feeling of happiness.
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